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Delay in preliminary hearing for Tyrone man accused in robberies

Earlier this week, a 33-year-old Tyrone man, Benjamin Burton Brower, had his preliminary hearing on robbery and other charges delayed until later this month.
Brower was arrested n Tyrone on July 23 for a robbery at the Sheetz store in Bellwood that happened shortly after midnight that day.
Brower has also been named as a suspect by Huntingdon County-based state police for allegedly attempting to rob the Uni-Mart in Warriors Mark later the same morning. He was apprehended later on Sunday when Hollidaysburg-based state police found him in Tyrone hiding in a relative’s car.
Brower was arraigned by on-call Magisterial District Judge Craig Ormsby and placed in Blair County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail. He was charged with one count each for robbery, simple assault, terroristic threats and theft by unlawful taking.
Brower was later charged by Tyrone Police for the late Saturday, July 22 robbery of the Choice Store on W. 10th Street in Tyrone. He was arraigned on July 25 before Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller on those charges.
Judge Miller said bail was set at $100,000 on the Choice store robbery charge. Brower also faces a motor vehicle theft charge related to his alleged weekend robbery spree. Bail on that charge was set at $25,000 straight. Miller said charges for fleeing and eluding authorities would be issued by summons.
Judge Miller said Brower was also before him on an unrelated DUI charge and he waived his right to a preliminary hearing on that charge. Bail in that case was $7,500 straight. At the time, Miller said Brower was remanded to Blair County Prison.
His preliminary hearing that was scheduled earlier this week was postponed until Aug. 15 at 11:30 before Judge Miller. Brower remains in Blair County Prison in lieu of bail.
In an unrelated case, Judge Miller said 42-year-old Carlos Melendez, Jr., of Altoona waived his preliminary hearing earlier this week. He was before the judge on theft, false identification and other charges stemming from an incident at Epworth Manor last week.
Tyrone Police also determined Melendez was a fugitive wanted by parole officials in New York City. Court documents list Melendez with an 8th Street address in Altoona.
He was arraigned on July 25 before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Moran and lodged in Blair County Prison on $8,000 straight bail.
Then on July 26, Magisterial Judge Miller arraigned Melendez on a fugitive from justice charge. His bail was set at $100,000 straight. Judge Miller said the fugitive from justice charge would be handled by the Blair County Court system.
New York authorities plan to extradite Melendez who is wanted on a parole violation there under the name of Jose Sanchez.
An Altoona woman, Sandra Miller, allegedly involved in the Epworth theft, was released on a misdemeanor waiver on the same day she was arrested and charges of conspiracy and theft were later filed against her. Beachem said those charges are being issued by summons.